Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Its been hard

It has been hard these past few months, pretending everything is normal. Thinking about how trite my condolences may have sounded in the past, despite my well meaning sentiments. But when you lose a parent, even if you aren't close to them, the deep sense of loss can't be denied. And if you haven't experienced it yourself, it can be difficult to describe.

It isn't like I haven't experienced the death of a loved one. I've been going to funerals since I was a child. I attended the funerals of all four of my grandparents, various aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, my favorite aunt, my favorite uncle, in-laws. I've written eulogies and delivered them (I'm pretty good at it, if you ever have the need). But I'm still trying to figure out how to say good-bye to Dad.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

We just received this yummy treat from our neighbor. Xin nian kuai le!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Maybe I'll hit gold someday

A couple years ago, I finally broke down and registered a Starbucks gift card I had purchased. Since I was averaging three Starbucks purchases a year, usually when I was with my scrapbook friends, I had no reason to buy a gift card and leave my money languishing on it. I finally bought a gift card because I liked the design on it (I guess that means their marketing magic worked).

Over the years, I slowly added a few dollars to it, usually when there was some sort of deal from Living Social or Groupon. I figured I would never reach the coveted Gold status, which required 30 stars in one year. Usually, it is one star per purchase so at three purchases a year, I wasn't making Starbucks rich. I guess Starbucks finally figured out that I don't make too many purchases (I don't even get my birthday freebie some years) and sent me an incentive: reload my card with $25 and get a $10 bonus. Now that I could get on board with.

Then this weekend, I hit the star jackpot. Mr. Fix-it and I went out for coffee before running errands and we had the barista ring up each of our purchases separately (yes, we're troublemakers that way, but there was only one person in line behind us and three cashiers). So for three items, I got three stars. But there was a bonus star for every purchase through March 5 (I don't know if it applies to everyone or only to those who received the email) so I received three more stars for six total. But wait, there's more! There was also a three star bonus for purchasing a flat white, which we both had, so six more stars. Woo hoo, 12 stars! Then I got an email asking me to rate that location, which garnered me another star. So, 13 stars, almost halfway to Gold, and the visit was practically free if you count my previous $10 bonus.

The lessson is, sign up for the email alerts and pay attention to the bonuses. I think I'm starting to figure out the system, lol.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

CHA 2015 - continued

Bella Blvd's booth was as beautiful as ever, plus they had a generous make-n-take that showcased their new Invisibles. The Invisibles have a thin plastic placemat weight. You could cut them with a trimmer, but you wouldn't be able to die cut them. They all have a decorative edge and I asked Stephanie why the deco edge instead of a straight edge. She said she designed them to be as versatile as possible; with their weight and decorative edge, they could be used standalone or on top of 12x12 paper. The Clear Cuts come in the fun dot pattern, plus there are a couple in every collection.

I liked the ColorWays embellishments. I think they are versatile enough for traditional and pocket scrapbooking, plus some fun cardmaking.
 More stamping and die goodness...






Darling make-and-take from Echo Park. See, I told you everyone was making their own dies.

Some new super strong adhesive. You can never have too much adhesive. :)


 I loved these metal boards and magnets by Roeda. Love, love, love!

It wasn't all scrapbook and paper crafts. There was yummy felt and yarn (now that I'm branching into knitting, I have a new addiction), plus lots of crystals and beads.





Hope you enjoyed the show too!

CHA 2015

I walked the Craft and Hobby show floor yesterday to see the latest and greatest in crafting. I saw lots of goodies from my favorite companies. A lot of scrapbook companies are branching out into home decor or other crafts.




I didn't see too much shabby chic, grunge, or vintage. Lots of travel. Metallics are in, especially DIY with Heidi Swapp's Minc and Therm-o-web's iCraft Deco Foil. I loved Therm-o-web's product. They had make-n-takes showing foil on fabric, using their foam adhesive, and on paper with liquid adhesive and heat transfer. The heat transfer reminds me of the foil sheets I had years ago that I ran through a laser printer. I have just one sample, which was created with their liquid adhesive...just rub the transfer foil on, so easy!

Robin's Nest

Simple Stories

There aren't any (or very few) pics from the biggies like American Crafts and We R Memory Keepers because I didn't spend a lot of time at companies my LSS, Perfect Day Scrapbooking, won't be carrying.

More to come...

CHA - The stars were out

Stephanie Bernard and Kelly Alverez

Ranger had multiple demo stations with all their stars (I spotted Dina Wakley, Dyan Reaveley, Wendy Vecchi, ). Of course, Tim's station was the most crowded. If you have time to watch the demos, you can learn a lot. You don't attend CHA just for star gazing, lol. All of the designers generously share their tips and tricks, explain why the product works a certain way, answer questions. Of course, all of this helps to sell the products, but I think the designers genuinely love their products and want to share their knowledge.

I also saw Heidi Swapp and Amy Tan, but didn't get a chance to snap any pics. And lots of press (whose names I recognized, but couldn't put a face to) and designers (whose faces I recognized, but couldn't put a name to).

Latte

No, I don't have an expresso machine at home. But a little leftover whipped cream sure made my morning coffee feel fancy.

Friday, January 09, 2015

My CHA predictions

Based on the sneaks I see at The Scrap Review and Scrapbook Update, I predict seafoam and peachy pink to be dominant colors, along with lots of metallic gold highlights. Everyone will be releasing stamps and dies under their own name (let's hope they are all good quality). And pocket scrapbooking will bring some strong competition to traditional scrapbooking. Let's see how correct am I when I walk the floor tomorrow.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The last of the summer harvest

I didn't post too much about my gardening exploits last year, but did have a few successes.

The electric fence around the tomato plants finally stopped the mice/rats/rodents and I was able to harvest tomatoes the last half of the summer. Now Mr. Fix-it is looking into adding the fence to another bed since you're supposed to rotate crops (although my mom never does).

We harvested our first avocado. It was beautiful! Unfortunately, it never ripened. As we are new to avocado growing, I don't know if we picked it too soon or if it was just a bum avocado. The tree had lots of new growth, so we're optimistic for next year.
I started a new raised bed with all new soil and wow, was that bed prolific. I enjoyed cucumbers all summer and through late fall. I didn't have as much luck with my Chinese long beans. It seems that the rodents moved from the tomatoes to the string beans. And I had a helpful trellis so they could climb up for the tastiest beans. Still, I was able to harvest enough to enjoy and share.
I usually have zero luck with squash plants. Everyone in the world can grow zucchini except me. The last time I had success with squash was around eight years ago. How do I know that? I was giving squash to my coworker so she could make baby food for her daughter. That was the last time I had enough to share. This year, I planted three seeds and two took root. They went through several rounds of production and I had enough to share again. I finally took out the plants yesterday since the plants looked like they were on their last legs. Even so, I still harvested these:
I told Mr. Fix-it that we were going to enjoy some fancy baby squash for dinner. I roasted them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Delish!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The year in review

Highlights:
  • Out of town visitors. I miss my far away relatives. It actually got me to do a little housecleaning, lol
  • Teaching card classes at the local scrapbook store, which has inspired me to hold "Crafty Lunch hour" at the office. It is good way to unwind for a bit and also use up some of my stash.
  • Lots of museum visits. I am fortunate to have so many great museums close by.
  • A new hobby: knitting. Hopefully, I won't overbuy supplies like I'm doing with my scrapbooking stash.
  • Figuring out that I should be able to retire comfortably if I keep doing what I'm doing. Yay!
  • Finished the last month of the year with at (slightly) lower weight and a renewed interest in exercising.
  • Awesome coworkers who were very supportive during the month from hell (see below)
The lows:
  • Too many losses (a dear friend's mother, an uncle, and an aunt). Very stressful for the family
  • The close of Two Peas in a Bucket, one of the most popular scrapbooking sites. Obviously, not popular enough since they had to close. For me, it is an unfortunate statement on the the state of scrapbooking. Thankfully, some peas organized a new message board so I still have a place to hang out.
  • November, the month from hell. I'm just now feeling like life is getting back to normal.
  • Huge bills from November and unexpected bills this month. Good thing I'm a saver.
  • Didn't hit my 2014 goals, oh well.
 Hope you all have a wonderful 2015!